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Here is a real example of the difference that online vs. professional translation can make. We chose a sentence at random and tested it by entering it into five of the most commonly used online translation tools. We then shared the resulting translation with one of our Spanish translators and asked them to comment on the quality of the translation. See the results below!

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SPANISH

SENTENCE FOR TRANSLATION: In the event that you are lost, consider asking a friendly face for guidance or directions to the nearest information kiosk.”

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Automated Translation
En el caso de que usted está perdido, considere pedir una cara amable para orientación o instrucciones para el quiosco de información más cercano. En el caso de que se pierden, considere pedirle un rostro amigable para la dirección o direcciones para el quisco de información más cercano. En el caso de que se pierda, considerar la posibilidad de pedir una cara amigable para la orientación o dirección del kiosco de información más cercana. En el caso de que le pierdan, considere el pedir de una cara amistosa la dirección o direcciones al quisco más cercano de la información. En el caso de que se pierda, considere la petición de una cara amistosa para dirección o direcciones al quisco de información más cercano.
Reverse Human Translation
In the event that you are lost, consider requesting a friendly face for guidance or instructions to the nearest information kiosk. In the event that you (plural) get lost, consider asking a friendly (person) for direction or directions to the nearest information kiosk. In the event that you get lost, to (infinitive) consider the possibility of asking a friendly face to orient yourself or direction of the nearest information kiosk. In case they lose you, consider the asking for a friendly face the direction or directions to the nearest information kiosk. In the event that you are lost, consider the request of a friendly face for guiding or directions to the nearest information kiosk.
Our Translator’s Comments
El is not absolutely necessary in the Spanish phrase for en caso de que. Use of usted could be done away with in this case and still maintain an appropriate level of professionalism. Should use subjunctive to read esté vs. está. It would be best to translate guidance as ayuda, simply asking for help when you are lost is clear. Pierden assumes that they are speaking to a group of people rather than an individual and uses the wrong verb tense.Missing a preposition before un rostro amigable, making it sound as if you are literally asking others for a friendly face to hold while seeking directions. Would be best if considerar were to be conjugated.considerar la posibilidad de pedir does not bring the point across. It states: To consider the possibility of asking, which is unnecessary. Choice of verb tense loses the thought. Cercana is made feminine in reference to información, which should carry over from kiosco. Additionally, quisco is the more precise spelling. Le pierdan is the correct verb tense, however implies that another person/persons physically lost you. Repetition of dirección o direcciones creates the impression that the author could not decide between singular and plural. Quisco de la información refers to a kiosk of knowledge versus a tourist help desk. La petición is a more formal usage of asking one’s help; it is an official request for a friendly face.Rather than use the literal word for word translation, the first sentence fragment could be reduced to Si se pierde, and follow with the conditional.

 

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